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8–17 July: Dahab & Liveaboard

R10,000.00

The trip includes:

  • Flights (JHB – Cairo – Sharm el Sheikh – Cairo – JHB)
  • Visa
  • Dive guides
  • 4-night full board Live-aboard accommodation
  • 4 nights Dahab accommodation
  • Non alcoholic beverages
  • Tanks & weights
  • Local transfers

 It excludes:

  • Meals & Beverages in Dahab
  • Staff Gratuities
  • Marine conservation fees
  • Diving Equipment rental
  • Enriched Air (Nitrox)
  • Travel insurance

Payment terms:

* R10 000 deposit

* Balance payable in full 45 days before departure

Category:

Description

Dahab & Liveaboard

8 – 17 July 2022

– 4 Nights Dahab (Sat – Wed)

– 4 Nights Liveaboard (Wed – Sun)

dahab

Trip Highlights

The Town of Dahab

Dahab is a small Egyptian town on the southeast coast of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, approximately 80 km (50 mi) northeast of Sharm el-Sheikh. Formerly a Bedouin fishing village, Dahab is now considered to be one of Egypt’s most treasured diving destinations.

Low-key, laid-back and low-rise, Dahab is the Middle East’s Hippy town and many travellers who booked for a few days, end up staying for weeks!

 

Dahab Diving

 

  • Bells to Blue Hole

One of the premier dives sites here in Dahab is the Bells, a spectacular wall dive of amazing beauty. The Bells is a large vein of rock that has eroded out leaving a deep gash in the reef that drops to 45 meters formed where a deep groove cuts into the reef top just north of the Blue Hole. The groove of the Bells breaches the reef table and a clear blue pool is formed; this is where the dive is started. As you drop through this pool, you will emerge on the reef wall at about 12 meters. The groove disappears to remerge deeper at 28 meters. The open water here is some of the clearest, deepest blue you will see. The wall itself descends down into the blue to over 200m which only adds to the anticipation experienced when emerging through the chimney. It is vertical and in parts overhanging, with a rich growth of black corals and sea fans.

The dive ends as you cross over a shallow saddle into the blue hole.

  • Dahab Canyon

The Dahab Canyon is the classic canyon, an essential dive for all fanatics of caves and cavern diving. The Canyon is itself quite a phenomenon. Up to 10 meters high and virtually closed over at the top, it snakes its way up from the depths, to emerge in a large glassfish filled coral dome. The Canyon dive site offers an easy entry and exit point through a shallow, sandy lagoon. This leads out to beautiful coral gardens inhabited by Butterfly fishes, Unicorn fishes, Octopus, Puffer fish and of course Red Sea Anthias, which can only be fully explored after several visits. The Canyon itself is positioned about five minutes north-east from the exit of the lagoon. The entry to the Canyon is done through it largest point at about 20 meters. The progression through the Canyon is easy and the light effect caused by the sun rays is fantastic.

  • Coral Gardens

is located next to the Canyon with the same entry and exit. Instead of heading north as you exit the lagoon you will go south towards this beautiful rounded wall. You will make your way south along the wall with the clear blue water to one side where you may see one of our large Napoleon fish swim by. As you shallow up you will swim through a sandy maze with hard and soft corals. This site is great for underwater photography.

  • Eel garden

A truly spectacular site for coral, this site is very exposed and can only be dived on calm days. Entry is via a small winding lagoon that leads out onto a vast sand bank which is covered in garden eels. As we cross the sand bank the eels retreat into their holes and pop back up again behind us. As we come back along the reef edge you’ll see some of the brightest and most colourful coral in Dahab.

  • Lighthouse 

Situated at the Northern end of the bay of Dahab, is home to the confined water training area due to its large sandy slopes and gentle drop off. The Lighthouse offers a number of different dives depending on the route chosen, and the sprawling coral gardens offer an abundance of marine life and vividly colourful corals, extending far from the shore. The Lighthouse is made up of a large rocky wall that wraps around the point whilst heading north to the EelGarden. The wall and the sprawling coral gardens, which extend far from the shore, offer varying depth ranges down to 60M plus making it suitable for all. Larger aquatic creatures, alongside a spectacular variety of corals, make it a very popular dive site. The Lighthouse is perfect for beginners, this easy to enter site still has a fantastic range of coral and fish life and also makes an ideal first technical dive in Dahab to brush up on buoyancy and equipment configuration.

  • Islands

This site is a favorite among guides and guests alike. A coral maze which truly shows the Red Sea coral at its best. Three giant pinnacles have grown together over the ages to create a playground of valleys and lagoons full of every reef fish you can imagine. One of the lagoons is home to thousands of juvenile barracuda, with trevally and large snapper always in attendance guarding their larder! An earthquake 10 years ago collapsed huge sections of the reef exposing holes and cracks that are rapidly filling up with renewed coral growth. This dive site never disappoints and as one of the shallower dives it is accessible to all certification levels.

  • Um Sid 

One of the sites in the Southern Oasis and is a dive guide favorite. The reef here juts out quite a way and drops down to a sandy slope covered in Garden Eels, the best dive is to enter on the right hand side of the reef and keep the reef to your left shoulder, looking out for blue spotted rays, Nudibranchs and don’t forget to look out into the blue for eagle rays!

 

4 Day Mini Liveaboard

Dives include Jackfish Alley where you can easily enter the small caves there. One of the dives will be the Alternatives, a chain of seven pinnacles with numerous sand patches and resident leopard sharks. Night Diving is very popular here.

The next day will take you to the historical wreck of the Dunraven. Next dive is Shark and Yolanda Reef, the southernmost tip of the Sinai Peninsula with an endless wall unique in the Red Sea. Sails into the Strait of Tiran for third dive will take you to Jackson Reef the most northern in the Strait of Tiran. Night dive at the South Lagoon.

The next dive is usually at Thomas Reef, the smallest of the four Tiran reefs but probably the most interesting and richest in marine life. Next dive is Gordon Reef!

 

Dive sites

Thistlegorm

The Thistlegorm wreck, on the west coast of the Sinai Peninsula and 40 km from Sharm El Sheikh, is the best known and most popular wreck dive in the Red Sea. The 125m long British army freighter sank after just 18 months of her launch in April 1940. Her last voyage commenced on the 2nd of June 1941 as she sailed to Alexandria and was loaded with wartime supplies during World War II. A long list of inventory includes tanks, aircraft, armoured vehicles, Jeeps and Bedford trucks.

In spite of being privately owned and operated, the SS Thistlegorm was nevertheless fitted with a 4″ anti-aircraft gun and a heavy calibre machine gun when she was drafted for war duty.

The ship laid anchor at what was thought a safe location north of the Straits of Gubal, today known as Shag Rock. It was to proceed through the Suez Canal upon receiving instructions.

But it was never to be. In the early hours of 6th October 1941 the Thistlegorm was split in 2 and sank almost instantly after being hit by 2 bombs from a German long range bomber. The hit only blew a hole in the port side of Hold no. 5 but then cargo tank ammunition ignited, causing the bulk of the damage.

All but 9 of the crew escaped and the HMS Thistlegorm reached its final resting place 30m deep on the sandy sea bed, where she lies upright with her stern section separated from the main body by 20m. The ship is largely intact except for the impact area but the split hull reveals the invaluable cargo, where trucks, motorbikes, a train and even Wellington boots can be seen.

On the stern the guns remain in excellent condition and the blast area is littered with artillery. The site offers so much to see that it takes 2 days of diving just to orientate yourself.

The ship was rediscovered by Jacques Cousteau in 1956 and is arguably the most sought after scuba diving wreck in the world. It is thought that the Sinai Peninsula’s Thistlegorm is the most frequently dived site in the world. Indeed, so many divers penetrate the shipwreck daily that many of the holds have air pockets trapped against their ceilings. With its holds full of World War II relics, it is little wonder that it holds such fascination to so many.

The wreck sits upright on the seabed at 33m. To dive the bow section you can descend onto the main deck area at 15m and enter Hold no. 1 from a large square entranceway in the floor close to the main anchor chains. The ship has 2 levels in its holds and it is possible to swim through the wreck from Hold 1 to 3, using the internal interconnecting doorways at a maximum depth of 25m.

Diving inside this section of the SS Thistlegorm you’ll find BSA motorbikes, Morris automobiles, Bedford trucks, trailers and armoured cars, stowed tightly away as if still ready for use, many still with rubber tyres and glass windows intact.

Holds 1 and 2 also contain Lee Enfield rifles, whilst Hold 3 has bombs, munitions crates, grenades and anti-tank mines. The are also piles of boots and shoes strewn across the holds and some spare parts for tanks and planes. Marine life in these holds is limited to some small squadrons of soldierfish and sweepers. There is no coral growth inside the silted holds.

Amidships is where you can see the full force of the devastation that took place. The hull has been forcibly peeled back here by the explosions to reveal the ship’s innards – large boxes of ammunition shells and artillery lying among the SS Thistlegorm’s mangled wreckage. There are many lionfish here and schools of black-spotted sweetlips take shelter from the currents. An upturned Bren Carrier tank lies on the port side and a locomotive engine sits on the sea bed here, thrown skyward by the blast.

Towards the stern you’ll find 2 machine guns on turrets, hanging precariously over the port side where the stern has listed, further reference to the hostilities of the period. The ship’s large propeller is easily identified once you swim around the rear of the ship at 32m.

As you make your way back up and across the top of the Thistlegorm nearing the end of your dive, you’ll find a lively marine scene. Orange-spotted and Heber’s trevally hunt schools of fusiliers, large schools of teira batfish follow scuba divers around, crocodile fish lie hidden on the deck floor, and a hawksbill turtle or two brush past in search of food, unperturbed after many years of frequent encounters with divers.

The wreck is best dived in the early morning from a live-aboard boat before the daily boats arrive and turn the site into a rich diver soup. But the SS Thistlegorm rightly remains the Red Sea and Sharm El Sheikh’s foremost scuba attraction.

 

Dunraven

The Dunraven was built in 1873 in Newcastle and hit the reef in 1876. It has sunk in 30m of water right next to the reef wall and is completely upside down in two sections. The length is about 80m and it’s about 10m wide. The stern section is in about 29m to the sand and is open in places for those qualified to enter. This leads to a swim through by the side of the ship’s boiler and out where the wreck has broken in half. The exit being usually filled with glass fish in their thousands. The bow section is in shallower water with loads of places to stick your head into, but nowhere to get in. After the bow section the dive is usually done by fining over the hull which is covered in coral and then moving onto the reef wall and the shallows to finish the dive.

 

Tiran islands

Between the four pristine reefs, fantastic pelagic action and interesting wrecks, you will be spoilt for choice in the Straits of Tiran.

The Straits of Tiran are often sought after by advanced divers in Sharm el-Sheikh. This is due to the fact that the area features strong currents and deeper sites than found elsewhere around the Sinai Peninsula. That doesn’t mean there isn’t also plenty for beginners to explore. Everyone is bound to enjoy the crystal clear visibility and colourful underwater world found in the Straits of Tiran.

Enjoy coral reef plateaus teeming with fish and steep wall drop-offs which offer exciting pelagic encounters. In particular hammerhead sharks and the occasional tiger shark arrive on the strong currents that make diving in the Strait a perpetual adventure.


Prices

R 27 399.00 per person sharing (double cabin)

The trip includes:

  • Flights (JHB – Cairo – Sharm el Sheikh – Cairo – JHB)
  • Visa
  • Dive guides
  • 4-night full board Live-aboard accommodation
  • 4 nights Dahab accommodation
  • Non alcoholic beverages
  • Tanks & weights
  • Local transfers

 

It excludes:

  • Meals & Beverages in Dahab
  • Staff Gratuities
  • Marine conservation fees
  • Diving Equipment rental
  • Enriched Air (Nitrox)
  • Travel insurance

 

Price
R 8 000.00
R 1 010.00
Price
 R 4 100.00
R 2 100.00
R 1 100.00
R 250.00
R 1 500.00

 

Half Day Pyramid tour – Cairo

 

Spend a day (or even a half day!) in Cairo to see the Pyramids and/or the Egyptian Museum and if time, go on a falucca ride in the Nile! Although, Cairo is lots of hustle and busle, you will not regret seeing one of the seven wonders of the world! (You can’t come to Egypt and NOT see the Pyramids!!) We have our own private driver that will be your personal chauffeur for the day.

 


Combine these Red Sea trips and save!

(While you’re there!)
  1. Hurghada 7 nights Live-aboard: R29 999.00 (23 – 30 June)
  2. Dahab 9 days land based: R17 900.00 (freediving) (30 June – 10 July)
  3. Dahab 9 days land based: R19 500.00 (Scuba)  (30 June – 10 July)
  4. Dahab 5 days / Liveaboard Mini Safari 5 days : R27 400.00 (9 – 17 July)

 

Combo’s

  1. Hurghada + Dahab (Freediving) 23 June – 10 July: R 36 988.00
  2. Hurghada + Dahab (Scuba) 23 June – 10 July: R 38 499.00
  3. Hurghada + Dahab (Freediving) + Dahab 5 days / Liveaboard : 23 June – 17 July: R 50 190.00
  4. Hurghada + Dahab (Scuba) + Dahab 5 days / Liveaboard : 23 June – 17 July: R 51 690.00
  5. Dahab (Freediving) + Dahab 5 days / Liveaboard  1 – 17 July: R 33 150.00
  6. Dahab (Scuba) + Dahab 5 days / Liveaboard  1 – 17 July: R34 750.00